Definition of tarot in English:



  • 1Playing cards, traditionally a pack of 78 with five suits, used for fortune-telling and (especially in Europe) in certain games. The suits are typically swords, cups, coins (or pentacles), batons (or wands), and a permanent suit of trump.

    • ‘I did much reading about Reincarnation, Astrology, Magick, Divination and Tarot.’
    • ‘The suits are only called what they are because they were common objects when the Tarot was originated - swords and staves, coins and cups, they're everyday items.’
    • ‘Some common examples are the Tarot, Runes, I-Ching, Ifa.’
    • ‘I make decisions easier now and don't agonize over them like I used to - the pendulum and Tarot have helped me greatly here.’
    • ‘Our strengths include our commitment to truth and healing, our unconstrained support for one another, and the gift that is Tarot.’
    1. 1.1A card game played with tarot cards.
      • ‘The blank cards can be used as an alternative to following suit (rather like the fool in classic tarot games).’
      • ‘You and that beautiful woman - yes, yes, the one with the blue eyes - playing tarot with the French dudes.’
      • ‘Turns out its a part of a flash card set for kids to learn numbers and such, but the tarot reference got us talking about doing a Fisher Price tarot set, like Tarot for kids.’
    2. 1.2A tarot card.
      • ‘When I first met her she was reading Tarot cards on a picnic table in the smoking area.’
      • ‘About two years ago whilst looking for a deck of Tarot cards, a strange man approached me and pointed out a box that I kept passing over.’
      • ‘I'm going to get out the Tarot cards again and give them a try.’
      • ‘Ultimately I'd like to tweak techniques using Tarot cards to use runes instead, see how that goes…’
      • ‘I bought a deck of Tarot cards in college and then gave them away.’


Late 16th century: from French, from Italian tarocchi, of unknown origin.